Transition to Middle School
Can’t quite believe that your child is going to be going to school with adolescents? That he or she will become an adolescent in a year or two? For parents of upper-grade elementary school students, the first glimpse of middle school can be daunting.
Middle School Myth vs. Reality: Parent Panel
Oct 18, 2017
Get an overview of PUSD’s middle school options and straight talk about academics, social environment, enrichment opportunities and more from parents whose students who attend PUSD middle schools. Find out the similarities, differences, opportunities, and unique cultures of the different PUSD middle school programs. Opportunity for questions from the audience. This program will definitely take some of the stress out of the middle school decision-making process. [Audio from 2017 parent panel] Handouts included:
- Exploring Middle School Options
- What does Academic Rigor Look Like?
- What to Look for When Looking at Middle Schools /
Que Dice la Investigacion sobre Escuelas-Exitosas
Choosing a Middle School: Principal Panel
This program was held in 2013, and because most of the middle school principals have remained at their schools, we will not host this program this Fall, but encourage parents to tour the middle schools and attend PUSD’s First Choice Festival (tent. date: 10/23/2017), where principals will be on hand to answer questions. The 2013 program included a summary of the research on what makes a successful middle school, and reviewed the key findings from PEN’s “Transition to Middle School” report. Read the Notes from Sept. 25, 2013 to see how PUSD’s middle school principals described what they are doing at their schools to create an enriching environment and culture, what strategies they use to create a rigorous learning environment, and the challenges and opportunities at their school site.
Transition to Middle School: PEN’s Results and Recommendations reports on the research PEN conducted during the 2012-2013 school year about the issues parents consider when making a decision about what middle school to attend, and what PEN and PUSD can do so more families consider staying in PUSD for secondary school. We updated parts of the report to create a Transition to Middle School Summary Report 2017, which shows that PUSD middle schools have made improvements. We recommend that you read this report before attending our fall programs since it addresses how parents viewed PUSD middle schools, and how PEN and PUSD are working together to improve the middle school experience for our students. Many of the recommendations in the report were implemented and we continue to work with PUSD administration to monitor progress in the middle schools.
Navigating Open Enrollment in PUSD
Nov. 27, 2017
Families in any grade level in Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre may apply for admission to PUSD schools other than their assigned neighborhood school through the Open Enrollment process. Students are accepted based on availability and a random lottery process. Theresa Doran from Pasadena Unified’s Office of Permits, along with PEN representatives, explains the process and the timelines, and answers questions. View the Open Enrollment presentation in English or Open Enrollment presentation in Spanish.
Transition to High School (and beyond!)
High School Options 101
Oct 12, 2017)
Four high schools, ten college/career “Pathways”, AP and IB classes, new graduation requirements – What does it all mean for your student? Get an overview of PUSD’s options, a glossary of high school-specific terms and acronyms, a framework for comparing key offerings and features, and find out where PUSD graduates go from here. Meet the principals from Blair, Marshall, Muir, and PHS. Handouts (2017) included:
- What Makes HS Different/Overview of the Options (powerpoint slides)
- Glossary of high school-specific terms and acronyms [Terminología en Español]
- PEN HS Feature Matrix – compares size, electives and key features across high schools
- Graduation Requirements* – First column of this chart shows how many credits required in the “A-G” categories for admission to UC & CSU campuses (or most 4-year colleges). Student must pass courses with C or better to meet A-G requirements.
- Class of 2017 graduates & college acceptances
College-bound: pen-Cap program series
PEN partners with College Access Plan (CAP) to offer a series of programs helping parents plan for and navigate the path through high school to college. Topics include:
- Paying for College
- What to Know Before Your Child Starts High School (resources available to help PUSD students prepare for and navigate the college application process)
- College Planning Timeline
- Finding the "Right Fit" College
Click here for program descriptions and available materials.